Home » Water District Imposes Drought Surcharge To Encourage Conservation

Water District Imposes Drought Surcharge To Encourage Conservation


In response to California’s third straight year of drought, the Contra Costa Water District board approved a 15 percent drought surcharge Wednesday.

In April, the board adopted its Stage 2 Water Shortage Contingency Plan, the goal of which is to reduce water consumption by 15 percent compared to 2020.

The temporary surcharge, which kicks in July 1, is 79 cents per 748 gallons for treated water customers and will add an additional 28 cents per day to the average customer’s bill, Contra Costa Water District officials said in a news release Thursday.

The plan also includes a credit for households using 200 gallons of water per day or less, which is designed to offset the new charge, according to district officials.


“The District has tightened expenditures and used reserves to balance finances, and we concluded that this surcharge is another temporary measure needed to maintain 24/7 water service during this drought,” said board president Ernesto Avila.

The district serves roughly 500,000 people in the central and eastern parts of Contra Costa County and gets the majority of its water from the federally run Central Valley Project, which in April cut water supplies to municipal and industrial users by 75 percent after the driest three-month start to a year in state history.

On March 18, the state Department of Water Resources announced that it could fulfill just 5 percent of requested water deliveries from the State Water Project, which serves 27 million residents and 750,000 acres of farmland.

Many local water districts have already implemented emergency drought measures.


In May, the East Bay Municipal Utility District, which delivers water to more than a million people in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, adopted an 8 percent drought surcharge that starts July 1.

The district also set a 10 percent water use reduction goal compared to 2020 and imposed a household penalty of $2 for every 748 gallons of water used above a threshold of roughly 1,646 gallons of water per day.

On June 1, for the first time in its history, the Santa Clara Valley Water District, which has a goal of reducing water consumption by 15 percent compared to 2019, implemented a two-day-a-week limit on watering lawns and landscaping.

On Friday, new statewide emergency drought regulations took effect that ban the use of potable water on “decorative or non-functional grass” at commercial, industrial and institutional properties.

The emergency regulations also require all of the state’s 436 urban water suppliers to implement their Stage 2 Water Shortage Contingency Plans, although only about half have done so, according to State Water Board officials.


The Fearless Spectator June 17, 2022 - 10:07 AM - 10:07 AM

These guys think making water expensive is an answer to a draught.

Glen223 June 17, 2022 - 11:50 AM - 11:50 AM

Then when customers conserve, the CCWD complains they didn’t make enough money, so they “have to raise” rates.

Tired June 17, 2022 - 10:08 AM - 10:08 AM

You don’t care about “conservation” – you are caring about grabbing more cash for yourselves. Be honest

Funny part is – I have always been a conservationist…just followed the old adage “waste not”. Don’t use excessive water, take short showers, turn lights off, don’t have AC or heat blasting…but you just charge me more, and more.

So sick of this communist, wacko state

Aunt Barbara June 17, 2022 - 11:44 AM - 11:44 AM

I so agree, Tired!
Next they will be griping about flooding

America June 17, 2022 - 10:09 AM - 10:09 AM

They are full of it, It will not be temporary. They won’t rescind this. The government never does.

Ricardoh June 17, 2022 - 10:15 AM - 10:15 AM
WC June 17, 2022 - 10:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Meanwhile, new housing that will use more water will continue to be approved.

Aunt Barbara June 17, 2022 - 11:45 AM - 11:45 AM

it’s the definition of insanity

Chris June 17, 2022 - 11:11 AM - 11:11 AM

Our family were raised to care for the environment. When I hear the water company will raise rates to promote “conservation” I laugh at those fools like I laugh at Biden for scolding the oil companies about being greedy. I’m out watering my lawn now and have increased watering it from 2x a week to 3x a week and will take longer showers!

Shulla June 17, 2022 - 11:36 AM - 11:36 AM

They build a bullet train to nowhere, instead of new reservoirs. They can build an oil pipeline from Alaska, but won’t consider a water pipeline from Washington and Oregon down to California?

Jeff (the other one) June 17, 2022 - 1:31 PM - 1:31 PM

Perhaps the elected/appointed leadership should be given a surcharge for inactivity. How many years has there been talk about new reservoirs, desalination plants, pipelines from areas that have an excess of water, etc.? California has large swaths that are deserts, which are now heavily residential, requiring additional water. Reading history has shown many areas dealing with droughts, or even just not enough rain. Legislators know how to tax/write bonds, but has any bond actually done anything successfully?

Dorothy June 17, 2022 - 12:57 PM - 12:57 PM

Funny. I’ve been using conservation methods for some years now. I guess I will still get the extra $1.07 a month anyhow. Not going to lay odds on if it ever gets rescinded. Don’t think any of the prior ones ever were either.

Randy June 17, 2022 - 12:58 PM - 12:58 PM

Cut water use – oh we’re need more $$ water use is down … raise rates, penalties and surcharges… yeah – makes real sense.. sarcasm …. How about Newsom putting a moratorium on the 200,000 new housing starts this year with no water plans? what about the almond and walnut groves that get all the water they want… and are adding tens of thousands of NEW acres this year… and the wineries getting all the water they need and adding acres as we speak… how about the surfing park in the desert being built (Palm Springs). Why can’t Newsom invest some of or $97B tax surplus in desalination plants and rain retention facilities? oh – he’s spending it on the high speed rail to no where that is 3x – 4x the cost they estimate … we have no leadership …. sad – this is how Cal voted – but if they aren’t doing any of this there must be plenty of water! – right? otherwise they would do something

Tsa June 17, 2022 - 1:04 PM - 1:04 PM

Please define “temporary”

Dorothy June 17, 2022 - 6:30 PM - 6:30 PM

“Temporary.” The intermediate time from this rate raise until the next one.

Ricardoh June 17, 2022 - 1:10 PM - 1:10 PM

Here is something we don’t need. news/2022/06/17/walnut-creek- neighbors-battle-massive-seven -hills-ranch-project?fbclid=IwAR2CRg2O0osL0tmkT 2paveSzrS1E9ztyZKgi3V QsiPg3FqWiH-46ZvJYZ BQ#.YqzEGevnOyA. facebook

Ricardoh June 17, 2022 - 2:01 PM - 2:01 PM

Use the whole address. Something happened

Badge1104 June 17, 2022 - 1:30 PM - 1:30 PM

You know living in California is not so golden anymore. I say this in light of numerous friends having moved to Tennessee and saying how much they love it there and how wonderful and warm the people are there. Normal not left doing crazy activists in your face people.
The same green Nazis that don’t want you to water your lawn they don’t want you to use electricity they don’t want you to have your barbecue or your gas lawn mower or warm fire in the fireplace during the holidays.etc etc
Soon they’re not going to want us to be able to breathe or put our foot in the ocean. Water shortages power shortages but certainly no shortage of crime or rude people. Won’t be long before we probably leave California too. The liberal Utopia is turning into a hell hole.

Cellophane June 17, 2022 - 4:11 PM - 4:11 PM

There is no such thing as a temporary fee.

My question for the Water district is what are they doing to save more water?

The answer is nothing.

The Federal Government holds reserves?

That’s like the Feds managing the Sahara.

We may all die but there will be plenty of bait.

WCreaker June 17, 2022 - 6:07 PM - 6:07 PM

Tightened expenditures? How would we know? The don’t publish a financial statement or a budget. My suggestion is to tighten more. And then the State should enact price controls so owners of source water cannot raise the price of the scarce resource.

SF oh June 17, 2022 - 6:40 PM - 6:40 PM

From the article above: “On June 1, for the first time in its history, the Santa Clara Valley Water District, which has a goal of reducing water consumption by 15 percent compared to 2019, implemented a two-day-a-week limit on watering lawns and landscaping.” In other news, a couple of days ago the late Norman Mineta’s remains were returned to the Bay Area. From “…At the airport, the plane was showered by water cannons shot from two new firefighting rigs bearing Mineta’s name…. “ It would seem to me that showering a plane using water cannons would waste a hell of a lot of water. But of course the Dem’s motto is Rules for Thee but not for me.

anon June 18, 2022 - 11:32 AM - 11:32 AM

Removing the 50+ million illegal aliens would instantly solve the housing and energy crisis. Parking and traffic crisis, too.

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